Dingley 3 1/2 perfect - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Dingley 3 1/2 perfect

Hey guys,

I am hoping to get some advice about this reel. I was thinking about pairing it up with an ACR 1205 (12 foot 5 weight rod) and using a SA Scandi Lite integrated line on it. Hoping to hear from someone that has experience with this reel and whether it would be a good match. Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:10 PM
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Like Dingley reels and usually fish one. There is a wide spool and a trout spool width and some made by William (father) or son Ernest. The wide spool ones are rarer and will hold all that line and lots of backing, The trout spool will likely work to but not miles of backing. They are all well made,equal to a Hardy in my opinion. The earlier William made ones have a long foot so measure reel foot and your reel seat and make sure reel will fit rod.The ones made by Ernest will usually have a shorter foot. The trout reels usually are a little heavier than the Hardy perfects same size and the salmon (wider spool)ones are a little lighter than a Hardy perfect. Not enough to make a huge difference but info.Everyone,s idea of rod balance seems different but for me I use a 3 1/2 wide spool on an 11 foot switch and some times on a12,6 inch 6 wt too with a 360-400 grain scandi heads and find weight enough so with line out it balances nice in hand. A picture of reel and could likely tell you little more,but if it will fit your rod think you would like one.They are well made and think both father and son spent their whole lives building reels so they knew what they were doing. Hope that helps, Daryl

Last edited by DLD; 01-09-2020 at 01:12 PM. Reason: seems post is to wide to fit space??? sorry
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Daryl

Thank you for all the information, it is really helpful. You are very knowledgeable about these reels and I appreciate you helping me out.

I attached a few pics - do you think it’s the wide model? Is the wide model also referred to as Dingley Thisle?

It sounds like either way the reel could work. I am using it for trout Spey so don’t need a ton of backing.

Thanks so much
Serge
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 01:36 PM
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I'm guessing that's going to be a real nice combo. Gorgeous reel.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 02:16 PM
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Glad to share Serge,the Thistle branding was for sure used on Dingley reels, Father worked for Hardys till 1911 and then worked for Walker Bampton for a while and then started his own shop and made reels for several tackle sellers, often with their name stamped on reels. The one in picture is a narrow spool but if foot will fit rod then think you will love it. I,ll try and post a picture(never have on site) and if works will be of a wide spool for comparision. Nice the reel you posted has the line guide too,not all did.

Dutchy knows lots about Dingleys and helped me lots when started being interested in them so just passing on knowledge given to me. He had a great collection of them for awhile. Daryl
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Daryl - yes now I see it is not a wide model like the one you posted.

Thanks for all the info - hope the foot fits the rod...I’ll make some measurements as you suggested.

Cheers,
Serge
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 04:11 PM
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I have a JW Young 3 1/2 “ wide spool perfect, very similar to a Dingley wide. Mine weighs 12.3 oz. with 500 gr mid belly and backing. This might help if you know what weight reel you are looking for.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks jdcross- that’s also helpful.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 06:01 PM
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Tubular......William (Walter) Dingley (and his son Ernest) made what are considered trade reels. Meaning they were made for the various tackle merchants at the time. I'm going from memory here....so you will have to excuse me if I'm missing something.

You will see Dingley Perfects listed as Alex Martin (Thistles), Ogden Smith (Exchequors), Westley Richards, William Mills, Fosters of Ashbourne, Walker Bampton, etc...all tackle stores. The full list is called out in the 'D is for Dingley' book. I think there's over 50 if I'm not mistaken in the US, Canada, UK, and Belgium.

This is an advertisement for the post war Ernest Dingley Perfect and St Georges.

Dingley made Perfects in 1/4" increments from 3" up to I believe 4.5" (which are rare). The 3.5" wide spool version is tougher to find. Below are pics taken from the vintagefishingtackle.co.uk website. You will note there is a distinct difference (first 2x pics are narrow spool, the other 2x...the wide model. I'm sorry I just don't know what the capacity difference is.

As far as reel feet go....the older William Dingley reels have larger reel feet and there is a fair amount of variation. They won't fit modern reel seats unless it has been custom fitted with some rare exceptions. I personally use all of my older Dingleys on sliding band reel seat bamboo rods for this reason. The feet are screwed on.....so you can get someone like Bill Archuletta to make you a new one for a rod with a "modern" reel seat, so you can keep the original for resale/collector value. You just have to be careful as some reels the screws have been peened over to prevent them backing loose. I asked a local machine shop if they could make me a reel foot and they advised against it when they noted this had been done. I don't advise filing down the feet to make them fit......as it lowers the collector's value considerably. It's been done.....

As far as using a narrow version on a 12' 5 WT.......man I can't see getting an SA Scandi Lite line and any backing on it. Maybe you could on the wide spool version.......but I would suggest trying to work out a deal with the seller that you would like a grace period to investigate your options.

I hope this helps...

ft09 - Mike
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Last edited by flytie09; 01-09-2020 at 09:38 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 06:52 PM
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I run a 3 5/8 in Hardy perfect on 4 and 5 wt speys. 100 yards 20 lb dacron, 80 - 100 ft of 30lb catfish mono, and heads. Extrapolate at your own risk, but I think it will work fine.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLSS View Post
I run a 3 5/8 in Hardy perfect on 4 and 5 wt speys. 100 yards 20 lb dacron, 80 - 100 ft of 30lb catfish mono, and heads. Extrapolate at your own risk, but I think it will work fine.
Further to SLSS comment here's pics of my 3 1/2" Young wide and my 3 5/8 Perfect regular as a comparo.

For the OP the Young is 2" wide and believe the Young wide and the Dingley wide are very similar.
My Young weighs 12.3 oz with line and backing and the Hardy weighs 9.1 oz. with line and backing.
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Last edited by jdcross; 01-11-2020 at 04:44 PM.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 08:51 PM
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Glad to see there is so much interest in Dingleys here guys. The 3 1/2 wide I posted pic earlier is 1 3/4 wide outside to outside and weighs 11.7 os with backing and a 90 ft running line,no head.I weighed a young 3 1/2 same as yours JD and empty it weighed 9.9 oz.
A 3 1/2 narrow spool Ernest reel weighed in at 9.4 oz with some backing and a 3 1/2 narrow Walter reel weighed 9.5 oz bare with no line guide. The narrow reels I measured are all 1 3/8 inch outside to outside. Daryl
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLSS View Post
I run a 3 5/8 in Hardy perfect on 4 and 5 wt speys. 100 yards 20 lb dacron, 80 - 100 ft of 30lb catfish mono, and heads. Extrapolate at your own risk, but I think it will work fine.
I talked to Gary and he said that the Hardy perfect 3 1/4 or 3 5/8ths would both work....I guess I should have asked him about the Dingley..
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, Mike thanks for taking the time to put this together, its very helpful.

I am a bit worried looking at the pics of my reel that it is a long foot and won't fit my rod. It is from a seller that offers a 14 day return period, so ultimately I have the benefit of testing it out.

I have learned my lesson on this point in the past, the grace period is super important when buying vintage reels.

Thanks again,
Serge



Quote:
Originally Posted by flytie09 View Post
Tubular......William (Walter) Dingley (and his son Ernest) made what are considered trade reels. Meaning they were made for the various tackle merchants at the time. I'm going from memory here....so you will have to excuse me if I'm missing something.

You will see Dingley Perfects listed as Alex Martin (Thistles), Ogden Smith (Exchequors), Westley Richards, William Mills, Fosters of Ashbourne, Walker Bampton, etc...all tackle stores. The full list is called out in the 'D is for Dingley' book. I think there's over 50 if I'm not mistaken in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.

This is an advertisement for the post war Ernest Dingley Perfect and St Georges.

Dingley made Perfects in 1/4" increments from 3" up to I believe 4.5" (which are rare). The 3.5" wide spool version is tougher to find. Below are pics taken from the vintagefishingtackle.co.uk website. You will note there is a distinct difference (first 2x pics are narrow spool, the other 2x...the wide model. I'm sorry I just don't know what the capacity difference is.

As far as reel feet go....the older William Dingley reels have larger reel feet and there is a fair amount of variation. They won't fit modern reel seats unless it has been custom fitted with some rare exceptions. I personally use all of my older Dingleys on sliding band reel seat bamboo rods for this reason. The feet are screwed on.....so you can get someone like Bill Archuletta to make you a new one for a rod with a "modern" reel seat, so you can keep the original for resale/collector value. You just have to be careful as some reels the screws have been peened over to prevent them backing loose. I asked a local machine shop if they could make me a reel foot and they advised against it when they noted this had been done. I don't advise filing down the feet to make them fit......as it lowers the collector's value considerably. It's been done.....

As far as using a narrow version on a 12' 5 WT.......man I can't see getting an SA Scandi Lite line and any backing on it. Maybe you could on the wide spool version.......but I would suggest trying to work out a deal with the seller that you would like a grace period to investigate your options.

I hope this helps...

ft09 - Mike
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the info...that Young Perfect looks really nice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcross View Post
Further to SLSS comment here's pics of my 3 1/2" Young wide and my 3 5/8 Perfect regular as a comparo.

For the OP the Young is 2" wide and believe the Young wide and the Dingley wide are very similar.
My Young weighs 12.3 oz with line and backing and the Hardy weighs 9.1 oz. with line and backing.
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